Just over three years ago, a shy boy named John was ordered by the Lake County Juvenile Court to come to Crossroads for an assessment and counseling. John had low self-esteem and was already socially uncomfortable when he became the target of bullies at school. His grades were terrible and he was on the brink of failing his sophomore year. John was also acting out aggressively at home against his siblings. One afternoon, he decided he had finally had enough and threatened a boy who had been taunting him at school and that landed John in the principal’s office and ultimately Juvenile Court. The penalty for John’s threat was suspension from school, probation, community service, counseling, and fines.
During his initial visit with Crossroads case manager, Joe in the fall of 2011, John had the typical teenager’s attitude and behavior; he was disinterested and angry to have to be at Crossroads. He was guarded, didn’t want to talk and was anything but receptive to the idea of coming here to discuss his ongoing struggles. The resistance went on for several sessions until Joe finally was able to break through, and get John to open up, and direct him to more productive behaviors.
John’s parents were supportive and made every effort to help their son get back on track. They moved into a smaller school district away from the boy who bullied John and worked on treating his dual-diagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). John had many challenges to overcome but once he received the encouragement and support he needed, he thrived. John got involved in sports, became passionate about running and joined the school track team which boosted his confidence and self-esteem. He made new friends while healing family relationships. His grades stabilized and improved and he envisioned a brighter future for himself.
John met all of his legal obligations in 2013, completing community service at his church and at school, paying all his fines with a job he got (due to coaching from Joe) and completing the court ordered counseling. Though no longer court ordered, John wanted to continue counseling as he was thriving with Joe’s guidance, understanding and support. So they continued regular weekly sessions. He is now ready to graduate from High School and is turning 18. John passed the United States Military entrance exam and is set to take flight on a promising future this summer.
Crossroads couldn’t have scripted a better outcome for this young man and we are proud to have helped launch his new life!